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Lab-Rat China Xinjiang Silk Road

  • Tour Overview: Xinjiang is the biggest province in China where the Takla Makan Desert locates, it is a huge province with different minorities because it is so close to Kazakhstan and Mongolia, the cycling there is not fancy at all as we have to camp if no supporting van helps us, the daily cycling distance is long with climbs. Xinjiang is huge while lots of highlights are located 400-500KM further to the central part, they are near the boundary. Xinjiang is a province with lot of terrain, desert, red cliff, pasture, lakes, etc. and although the hotel and accommodation is much poorer, we will have some special experiences like living in the Mongolia yurt, etc. Also I think the culture and food there are interesting too as it is province once very important on the silk road of China.
  • Duration: 11 cycling days, car drive + train + cycling
  • Tour Code: CYT-BT-009
  • Price from: $3494
  • Difficulty: 90% cycling on paved

Tour Itinerary

Tour Starting Date:  6th June, 2019.  Guaranteed departure from 3 paticipants, please contact to join. 

Day 1 Arrival of Urumqi. 

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This tour starts from your own flight and arrivals on the capital city of Xinjiang province, Urumqi (URC). The flight ticket is available from lot of major cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, etc. It is a very long distance flight that takes us to the far west of China. Train from Beijing to Urumqi is also available but lasts over 36 hours, please get ready for it if you want to save money by taking the train. Our guide will pick you up at the train station or airport and wish you a nice rest before the adventures in mysterious Xinjiang province. The meseum and markets in Urumqi are very interesting so if you want to visit it, please stay there earlier than today or do it after the whole trip. 

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Day 2 Train + Car Drive from Urumqi to Tour Starting Point - Karamay Areas (B,L,D)

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A 3 hours on train takes us away from Urumqi to Karamay - a base famous for producing oil for China. After lunch, we need another 2 hours driving to a small town on the north of Karamay and our cycling tour finally gets started.  

Day 3 Day 3 Cycle around the Ailike Lake and The World Ghost Town. Around 60KM Cycle (B,L,D)

We passed the whole China to here, wishing to find the remaining natural and culutre relics, including The World Ghost Town, the place where the well-known Chinese movie 'Guest from Tianshan Mountain' was shoot. Astonished by the unique landform here, the cycling level today is only leisure and moderate but leaves us a fantastic memory.  After the trip, we will back to the town for more rest before challenging the mountain and all kinds of terrains in Xinjiang. 

    China Silk Road Bicycle Holiday, Cycling the World Ghost Town.

Day 4 Train + Car drive and Cycle to Wulan Sadeke. 50KM Cycle (B,L,D)

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We have to face the last transfers before our cycling today! A 2 hours train + 1 hour on van back to the south. With the help of the van, a boring time riding on the main road is skipped. Enjoy few of the big climbs, and the downhill ride takes us away from the bigger cities after few kilometers. Fewer and fewer cars show up while the desolate mountains heave in our sight. Cycling across one of the biggest mountains of Xinjiang is not an easy task but we are exploring a new world that less travelled and known by the majority. Long distance on climbs brings us awesome long distance downhill too. Staying overnight on the halfway before finishing the first big mountain of this trip, expecting the next wonders from tomorrow, what happened and will happen? Today is a busy day!

Day 5 Wulan Sadeke to Qiao'Erma 70KM Cycle (B,L,D)

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70KM per day is not a long distance for riders but it do requires enough patience as the first long climb shows up today – a 35KM up that leads us to the high pass on an elevation of 3390M. Keep your pace during the climbs as we are going to enjoy a fantastic downhill for 24KM later. Keep the camera with you and set your Gopro ready for the stunning snow mountains and perfect roads and valleys.

Day 6 Qiao'Erma to Ba'ergaiti Hot Spring 130KM Cycle (B,L,D)

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The 130KM we need to ride today might be the easiest one for the whole trip as the elevation drops from 2300M down to 1500M after the first 110KM! Enjoy the downhill while the grassland and river are accompanied with us. Cycling to the famous Ba’ergaiti Hot Spring areas, our tour today is rewarded with a nice rest in the forest and hot spring pools.

Day 7 Ba'ergaiti to Nilekezhen + Car Drive to Guija  65KM Cycle(B,L,D)

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The short experience at the hot spring resort helps us recover from the tired journey has been done so far. A not-very-hard cycling through small undulation for 65KM along the Kashgar River and hidden valleys lead us to Nilekezhen for a late lunch and then enjoy the drive and rest to Guija - the capital city of the China Kazakhstan autonomous prefecture, famous for its animal husbandry and farms.

Day 8 Car Drive Gulja to Sayram Lake Car + Cycle    50KM Cycle + (B,L,D)

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We need special permit for a travel in this areas as we are so close to the boundary of China and Kazakhstan, in order to skip the hard ride for a very long distance, we are lucky getting the help again from the car, driving us directly to the alpine Lake of Sayram, a pearl hidden in the far west of China. After Checking in our hotel, we will ride around the lake; explore the precious environment lake area meters by meters on our bikes, having a barbeque under the stars in the evening.

Day 9Car Drive Sayram to Tekes (B,L,D)

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Using the car for two days is what we have to do in order to skip 3 big mountains where daily elevation changes over 2500M and a cycling distance over 600KM which are not possible to be finished in limited period. After saying goodbye to the holy lake Sayram, our van drives us back to Guija for lunch and another 150KM on car in the afternoon jumps us to the Chinese Eight-Diagram city – Tekes. A world suddenly changed from a natural spot into a city full of history and ancient believes.

Day 10Tekes to Tokkuztara  125KM Cycle (B,L,D)

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Like the god protecting its sons, the rivers in Xinjiang breeds the local people for thousands of years. Today our riding will be an adventure along the Tekes River while passing by houses of the local people. In the afternoon, after few short hills, nothing stops us and a down for a long distance finishes our cycling at Tokkuztara.

Day 11Tokkuztara to Nalati Grassland Resort Car Drive + Leisure Ride (B,L,D)

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The eastern part of Tokkuztara is of higher altitude and an endless uphill exists if we continue our ride to it, therefore, a half day on van to avoid this seems like the best choice for riders. We will arrive at Nalati Grassland directly by cars in couple hours and will have enough time left for the leisure cycling around the rivers and scenic areas there. Cycling in the field of sunflowers, watching the standard hominy picture with sheep, cows and horse, nothing is cozier than spending a day here.

Day 12Nalati Grassland to Bayin Buluke 83KM Cycle (B,L,D)

An 83KM cycling through big up and down hill through the grassland, valley and mountains takes us to Bayin Buluke, where the Swan Lake National Wildlife Reserve area locates. A further explore after parking our bikes will be our nice option choice today. This is the place where you will find the famous ‘Nine-Bending River (also known as the river heading to the heaven in the book ‘Journey to the West), the sunset views of the river are believed one of the most beautiful parts in China.

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Day 13Bayin Bluke to Big Dragon Pool 120KM Cycle (B,L,D)

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The Da longchi in Chinese means the Big Dragon Pool; it is part of the Kuche Grand Canyon National Geo Park. Although the hotel is expensive here, we have to split our trip to the final destination – Kuche into two days due to the very long distance for cyclists. The big pool is not that big compared with the saintly lakes we have seen so far, however, it is definitely a nice place for rest.

Day 14Big Dragon Pool to Kuche 121KM Cycle (B,L,D)

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It is the time for our last riding day in Xinjiang now! A 121KM fantastic down to Kuche, the landform within these days is changes quickly than we can expect as we now across the Tianshan Mountain again from the northern part of Xinjiang to the south. A fantastic experience at the Kuche Grand Canyon National Park brings us a perfect ending of our trip. In the afternoon, we will delivery our bikes back to our office and enjoy our farewell dinner to our driver as he will need another very long drive back to Urumqi earlier than our trains back.

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Day 15Kuche Visit + Train Back to Urumqi (B,L)

Cycling and Enjoy the Food at Xinjiang, China Bike Holidays.

Kuche is an important city in the history where the Silk Road passed, therefore, lot of relics and palaces are worth visiting. We will have a whole day non-cycle travelling in Kuche before catching up our overnight trains back to Urumqi.

Day 16Urumqi Departure

Our train arrives at Urumqi in the morning you can book your own hotel online if you want to spend more days here. Saying goodbye to our lovely guide from here but our life-long memories and friendship never stopped. Service ends.

Guide Price

2019 Prices: per person, USD3360  Single room surcharge: USD470. 

15 nights' accommodation in comfortable hotels / guesthouses / yurk /homestay, with twin share rooms,private bathroom with hot water is supplied only when it's possible.  Departure airport transfers;
 Arrival airport / train station pick-up service by our guide and driver to hotel on Day1 International airfares and airfares to Guilin and exit Chengdu;
 Meals mentioned as B, L or D; Visas;
 Water and simple snacks while cycling; Insurance*;
 Package service from our cycling leader who can fix small bike problems;  Tips, gratuities, personal expenses;
 Supporting van during cycling day,  Helmet is offered for free but we suggest bring your own ones and cycling gear.
 Quality well-maintained mountain bikes / touring bike / cycro cross bike of 24/27 speed front suspension; 
 Train tickets as mentioned in the detailed itinerary.  

*Please note that obtaining your own travel insurance is required in order to participate on this biking tour. It will need to include a minimum coverage of medical expenses with emergency evacuation, personal liability and accident insurance. Our biking leader will need to see a copy of your insurance at the group meeting on the first day. We reserve the right to refuse you if you do not carry such an insurance policy.

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